NFL trade rumors: Latest updates and information for 2021 offseason

By Vincent Frank

NFL trade rumors continue to pick up steam following the Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz blockbusters. Fellow quarterback Sam Darnold could be on the chopping block. Meanwhile, reigning NFL passing champion Deshaun Watson has requested a trade from the Houston Texans.

There’s going to be a lot of talk about these quarterbacks. However, players at other positions could also be dealt during what promises to be a frantic offseason. Bookmark this page to read the latest updates.

Update: Feb. 24, 6:48 PM EST

Washington Football Team interest in QB on the trade market

Washington Football Team: Marcus Mariota
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) warms up before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not yet known whether Alex Smith will be back in the nation’s capital next season. He was previously contemplating retirement before recently indicating a willingness to play in 2021. In the same interview, Smith pretty much portended the end of his tenure in D.C.

Now comes this report indicating that Washington is interested in both Marcus Mariota and Sam Darnold on the trade block. The idea would be for one of these veterans to compete with holdovers Kyle Allen and the recently re-signed Taylor Heinicke for a starting job during the summer.

Read More: Washington Football Team quarterback: 5 best replacement options for 2021

Mariota has been made available by the Las Vegas Raiders. Meanwhile, the Jets want to wait until the end of the pre-draft process in about a month before coming to a conclusion regarding Darnold. Both quarterbacks would come relatively cheap in terms of a cap hit and compensation in a trade.

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo staying put for now

Jimmy Garoppolo would be involved in hypothetical Deshaun Watson trade to the 49ers
Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass against the New England Patriots in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

NFL trade rumors have linked the 49ers to multiple potential upgrades over Garoppolo thus far on the young NFL season. General manager John Lynch took to the airwaves on Wednesday to dispel this notion, indicating that he firmly believes Garoppolo will be the 49ers’ starter come Week 1.

This could very well be nothing more than PR spin on the part of the recently-elected Hall of Famer. However, the 49ers have remained steadfast in their commitment to Jimmy Garoppolo since the end of an ugly six-win 2020 season. A previous report did indicate that San Francisco would only move off Garoppolo if it were able to acquire Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade. As of now, that doesn’t appear to be in the cards.

Update: Feb. 23, 5:10 PM EST

NFL trade rumors: Dallas Cowboys could move Michael Gallup

Underrated NFL trade options: Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Dec 20, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) catches a touchdown pass against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Currently just $20.29 million under the cap, Dallas would have to take an absurd $37.7 million cap hit if the team were forced to place the franchise tag on Dak Prescott for a second consecutive year. According to some rumors coming from Big D, said scenario would force the Cowboys to cut some beef — both short term and long term.

That’s where Gallup could come into play. The former third-round pick is going to be a free agent following the 2021 season. He’s performed at an exceptional level recently, averaging nearly 1,000 receiving yards over the past two seasons. Gallup is going to get paid on the open market. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have high-priced receiver Amari Cooper under contract and selected CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

A team that’s in a less-than-stellar cap situation and needs to find a way to build through the draft, acquiring valuable picks for Gallup could be the way to go this offseason. Right now, it’s safe to assume Gallup could net the Cowboys a second-round pick and change in return.

Read More: Dallas Cowboys hopeful they can work out Dak Prescott contract extension

Updated: Feb. 22, 3:31 PM EST

Sam Darnold trade could be ways down the road

New York Jets: Sam Darnold
Dec 13, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts following a no-call of pass interference against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Once Carson Wentz was moved from Philadelphia to Indianapolis, it made sense to believe that Darnold could be the next domino to fall. That might not be the case. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Jets’ brass wants to fully evaluate 2021 NFL Draft prospects at quarterback before coming to a final conclusion regarding the former No. 3 overall pick.

This could prove to be problematic. It means that a firm decision might not come until the next of next month once pro days have been completed around the country. This would obviously be after the initial waive of free agency, meaning that a majority of quarterback-needy teams would likely have already settled that position.

Read More: 5 ideal Sam Darnold trade scenarios

A recent report suggests that New York is looking for a second-round pick and another mid-round selection in return for Darnold. Given his performance in three years and that less-than-stellar return, a team might bring him in to compete for a starting job. That could make a trade in early April more than likely should the Jets’ brass like what is sees in the 2021 NFL Draft quarterback class. For now, we’re at a holding pattern.

NFL trade rumors: Las Vegas Raiders could trade Marcus Mariota

Washington Football Team: Marcus Mariota
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) warms up before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There was some speculation earlier this offseason that Las Vegas could move Derek Carr. That has died down some in that it only included the Raiders potentially landing Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade. With the Houston Texans unwilling to talk trade, that has also died down some.

However, there’s another Raiders quarterback who could be on the trade block. We previously focused on the availability of Marcus Mariota. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport covered that in detail on Monday, noting that the former No. 2 pick has been the subject of trade calls.

Read More: 5 best trade destinations for Las Vegas Raiders QB Marcus Mariota

Mariota, 27, could be a cheap alternative for a team willing to risk it. He has not been a starter-caliber quarterback since back in 2016 with the Tennessee Titans. With that said, Mariota did show flashes in a small sample size with the Raiders last season. He’s also set to count just $10.73 million against the cap in 2021. This report comes amid suggestions that the Patriots are hitting the NFL trade market hard looking for a replacement for Cam Newton. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears have been linked to Mariota.

Updated: Feb. 21, 3:50 OM EST

Carolina Panthers making a run at Deshaun Watson

NFL trade rumors: Deshaun Watson trade to the Panthers
Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) reacts as he leaves the field following the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As Carolina continues to free up cash, rumors suggest that it could be to make a play for the disgruntled Texans star. This is magnified by the fact that Panthers owner David Tepper is reportedly making a strong push to acquire Watson in what would be one of the biggest blockbusters in NFL history.

Read More: 5 most realistic Deshaun Watson trade offers

A previous report suggested that Carolina could offer up star running back Christian McCaffrey and three first-round picks for Deshaun Watson. However, that was merely a suggestion. What we do know is that Houston remains steadfast in not talking trade with interested teams. Whether that changes the more Watson’s camp pushes back publicly remains to be seen.

NFL trade rumors: Asking price for Sam Darnold revealed

NFL trade rumors: Sam Darnold: New York Jets
Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws the ball against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Given that Carson Wentz netted the Philadelphia Eagles a second and third-round pick, most figured that the Jets might be able to acquire a late first-rounder in exchange for this former No. 3 pick. That’s apparently not going to be the case. Rather, NFL trade rumors suggest that the Jets will get a second-round pick and a mid-round selection in exchange for the still-young quarterback.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Jets, check out #TakeFlight rumors, rankings, and news here.

It’s not exactly known who is interested in Darnold. Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers have been linked to him. San Francisco was high on Darnold leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Whether that has changed over the past few years remains to be seen. It’s also not known whether the 49ers’ brass would view Darnold as an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears and Washington Football Team are also said to be interested in a Darnold trade.

Chicago Bears could sign-and-trade Allen Robinson

NFL trade rumors: Allen Robinson
Sep 27, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II (12) reacts on the sideline after the Bears scored the go ahead touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s highly unlikely that this impending free agent will be back with the Bears in 2021. He’s grown frustrated over contract extension talks after recording 102 receptions for 1,250 yards a season ago. In no way does this mean Chicago plans on letting Robinson walk for nothing.

Read More: NFL rumors: 5 realistic Allen Robinson sign-and-trade destinations

Much like what we saw with Jarvis Landry and his former Miami Dolphins team a couple years back, there’s a chance that Chicago places the franchise tag on Robinson with the expectation that it will trade him. It could very well net the team a couple valuable draft picks. Robinson, 27, is likely looking at about $20 million annually on the open market.

NFL trade rumors: Philadelphia Eagle unhappy with return in Carson Wentz trade

Carson Wentz trade
October 4, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) warms up against the San Francisco 49ers before the game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles dealt Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts last week for a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and a conditional second rounder in 2022. While the latter pick will likely turn into a Day 1 selection, it still represents a smallish return for Philadelphia.

It’s in this that reports suggest the Eagles’ brass is not happy about the return it received from Indy for Wentz. The organization envisioned a more robust market. After tying for the league lead with 15 interceptions last season and playing under a horrible contract, Wentz’s value took a major tumble.

It’s not great given the fact that Philadelphia exhausted a ton of draft capital, time and cash on Wentz in hopes that he’d turn into a franchise quarterback. Now, the Colts are banking on the same thing.